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Normalise Your MP3 Files So They All Play At The Same Volume

A few years ago I ripped my CD collection into MP3 format.  Along with songs I've also collected from other sources, I have thousands of tracks stored on my computer.  Trouble is, if I want to play a collection of songs I'm continually having to adjust the volume control, because some are much louder than others.

This isn't always a problem if I'm at home, but can be awkward if I'm in my office.  I need to keep the noise from the speakers low, so as not to disturb people in neighbouring rooms.

If your MP3 collection has a similar problem, try a program called MP3 Gain.  You can get it from http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net/download.php and it runs under all recent versions of Windows (32- and 64-bit).  

The program is free, and VirusTotal assures me that it's clean too.

 

 

 

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Comments

by spaarks on 24. January 2013 - 12:35  (104782)

Unfortunately MP3Gain uses APE tags. These can cause serious problems when added to the usual ID3 tags. They can prevent ID3 tag info being displayed in apps such as MP3Tag and can cause some players such as Sansa to lock up. The developer actually mentions this problem in the Help (FAQ) file. He gives possible solutions but none are really practicable.
You could possibly use only APE tags for all the track info but you need to make sure APE is supported by your player. ID3 is an almose universal standard.

by Juxxize on 13. November 2012 - 23:22  (102272)

I really like mp3 gain , nice and simple does what it does nicely and well.

by rameau on 21. July 2012 - 4:37  (96458)

I have using MP3Gain and it work right. One thing bad is that distort when was up the volume. [Edit] request related to commercial software removed]

by Space Patroller (not verified) on 28. January 2012 - 9:37  (87928)

I use MP3Gain as part of preparing an Mp3 file.

Over at the SanDisk Fuze Forum, I was told that MP3Fain, which works in Windows 7 does not support Replay Gain beucase it does not go into the ID3 tags. What it does is add an APEV tag

MediaMonkey free also has volume analyze and track levelling. MM free also converts to mp3 using a limited-lifespan lam_enc app. However this can be replaced,either when it dies otr immediately, with a normal-lifespan lame_enc app by a simple copy/paste/replace move

by Anonymous Bevan Grueneberg (not verified) on 24. January 2012 - 20:56  (87728)

I am new at the computer. Going into areas such as this,is helping me to learn the computer. I am 70 years old. I plan to live to 100. That means I have 30 years left to play and maybe teach someone else the computer.
Thank you
Bevan

by Hammerogod (not verified) on 3. January 2012 - 14:01  (86471)

Been using MP3 Gain for years without a single problem.
No noticable distortion, batch operations, all good.
It's Tweakable and it's bullet proof.

I like MP3 Direct Cut & Sound Capture (magicsofts)too.

That way I can grab music from ALL sources, cut the crap off each end, run it through MP3 Gain and add it to my Media Library.
Needless to say my Media Library is about a terabyte.
It's a great combo for grabbing HQ music from YouTube etc.

Separate apps for each job is better because you can update or replace an app when a better one appears.
Bundled apps don't let you do that.

by Australia (not verified) on 22. December 2011 - 11:30  (85715)

Excellent free software like this needs to have a permanent place in a section of TechSupportAlert. At the moment it is not a featured software in "Audio Editting Software", and should be. Otherwise in a few months MP3 Gain will not be evident in Hot Finds, being relegated to a second page, and many readers here will not be aware of its existence

by JulieTang84 on 21. December 2011 - 20:26  (85640)

Awesome and used on every mp3 I own.I have never had any trouble with it and it always performs as stated.

I really appreciate the option of being able to scan and set an entire album to 'Maximum No Clip.' Also, being able to adjust "Multiple" albums at once is an added bonus

by mizdoc (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 21:22  (85495)

I've used MP3 Gain for years and it has never failed me.
Great program, easy to use. And I've never heard any distortion; this is the first I've heard of anyone hearing a distortion. Sure it wasn't the actual MP3 file that was distorted?

by Crat (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 11:53  (85416)

I've always thought that Winamp, AIMP, MediaMonkey and similar media players simply 'normalize' their own playback volume. They do not amend the individual tracks volume data, do they?
That is, even after these media players have done their stuff, if you were to load the same tracks on to---say---an iPod or CD, the track volumes would not be normalized but would remain the same as when they were recorded......right?

I ask because MP3 Gain normalizes the volume levels of the actual recording/track data so that the playback will be 'level' regardless which media player you use--including your ancillary devices.

I've been using MP3 Gain for many years--primarily so that I don't have to constantly adjust the speaker volume in my car each time a new track plays.
Now if I could just sort out how to keep the audio degradation to a minimum.

by Aninnymous (not verified) on 22. December 2011 - 4:45  (85667)

Correct - The Winamp Plugin I mentioned does not alter the source MP3 files in any way. It takes any/all input file(s) and adjusts the volume playback on-the-fly so that all are equal in volume.

Not only can you use the normal winamp equalizer, but the DSP plugins can also adjust playback frequency balances to suit your preferences / minimize distortion.

There probably exist Winamp plugins which re-code the actual MP3 files to normalize volume as well given that Winamp has been around since 1492 and does everything else except my laundry ;D

by Shridharshan Raaja (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 10:54  (85401)

The best program for this for this purpose in PC is using AIMP2, yes it is a media player(a good one, actually), you can go to its DSP Manager and enable the option "Auto normalize sound volume".This will automatically level playback while not changing anything in the file, so your file will be not be re-converter and so no quality loss.One more thing, AIMP2 is extremely light on system resources, you won't even notice its running.Try it, you may hate it initially, but you'll love it later, it also has a Library(real slow) and a nice Advanced Tag Editor (note there are two tag editiors, advanced and the one in "File info")

by Aninnymous (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 8:34  (85376)

Winamp users can also use other specialized plugins like "KMG DSP Volume Dynamics", etc which play back all existing files at the same volume regardless of how soft or loud the source may be. They often can be adjusted to suit.

by Balaji Ramanathan (not verified) on 20. December 2011 - 1:05  (85331)

Mediamonkey, which is free, and is a very capable MP3 library, organizer, tag editor, player, etc., can also level tracks if you want it to. I find it far better to use a single piece of software with all the functionality I need built in, rather than use separate solutions for organizing, tagging, playing and leveling my MP3's.

by bernardz on 20. December 2011 - 0:28  (85330)

I too Kim have used this program for years and its great. I do not hear any distortion after running.

I suggest setting it to the default 89db.

by Kim Hansen (not verified) on 19. December 2011 - 20:38  (85320)

Brilliant program though as old as Santa. I have used it for years.

by Duncan (not verified) on 19. December 2011 - 18:30  (85303)

Winamp users can also normalise replay gain by right clicking selected track/tracks > send to > calculate replay gain. It is a simple, fast process and the results are noticable.